A person who attends an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting is making the first step in a long journey of recovery. While the most important step can be the hardest (to attend a meeting) there are additional opportunities through the 12 step process to grow, change and become healthier with the support of community. The 12 step program is self paced to allow for each individual to experience what is necessary to move forward. Step 11 focuses on prayer and meditation as a way to heal and develop knowledge which will guide a person through recovery.
Moving on through the 12 step process, an individual at Step 11 will seek ‘through prayer and meditation to improve conscious contact with God as He is understood, praying only for knowledge of His will for each person and the power to carry it out.” Working through this step helps build a strong foundation for a peaceful, fulfilled live which is focused on positivity. A daily spiritual practice helps promote emotional balance and stability which is required to get through the difficult daily challenges life brings.
Some of the following steps can be used as a helpful guide for any individual working through Step 11:
- Decide whether to pray, meditate or practice some other spiritual activity
- Envision spiritual objective which is improved conscious contact (with a higher power or one’s higher self)
- Create a relaxing environment free of distraction
- Focus on higher power’s will for a person’s life and let go of preconceived notions
The following is a helpful tip for individuals who seek to work through Step 11.
- In prayer, don’t make specific demands. When demands are made, it communicates that a person would like things done specifically in one’s own way and in one’s own time rather than through the will of a higher power (which is out of one’s own control).
A person working in Step 11 may believe it is necessary to pray to a specific God. The step is really about opening one’s mind to decide how a person feels most comfortable. What is most important is that a person is clearing internal space of unwanted defects to make room for care, compassion, love and empathy. Working towards these goals will support a long, healthy recovery. The main goal of this step is not to identify with a God of someone else’s choosing, it is to experience the work of a higher power as one is aware of the presence personally. An individual cannot move through the 12 steps of recovery when thinking about what other people want, it is an individual journey with ups, downs, leaps and bounds which get better with time.
Recovery is a process which begins with one step. Call us to discuss treatment options and how to move beyond alcohol addiction to recovery.